Some people argue that your 20’s should be for splurging and “living it up” while you’re still young and don’t have a family to support. Those who decide to partake in the FIRE Movement would say it is the perfect time in your life to start saving, and living off nothing so you can be better-off in your future. So who is right? Should I join the FIRE Movement, or live like the rest of my friends?
Why I chose FIRE
FIRE, or “Financial Independence/Retire Early” is an up-and-coming movement centered around frugal living to save up enough money to become financially independent and retire early.
When I first heard about this, I was immediately interested because I knew that it didn’t take much to make me happy. I learned how to live off the bare minimum as a college student, so frugal living isn’t anything I was afraid of taking on.
I have three main reasons for wanting to join the FIRE Movement, and while it takes sacrifice and commitment, I’m determined to stick to it. Although everyone is capable of it, this movement is not for everyone.
Here are my three reasons:
1. My Work Habits
Yes, I am a hard worker. I’m also a pretty quick learner. I love the grind, and I love learning information on just about anything.
Given this, my interests vary widely, and I can’t seem to stay focused on one project for more than a month at a time. This has allowed me to gain a wide skillset in various areas, but I haven’t really achieved full mastery in anything.
A jack of all trades if you will.
Between high school and college, I probably held at least 10-15 different jobs, often working multiple at once, but never longer than a year.
I love starting projects and having multiple going at once so I never get bored with one.
Long term commitment to one job or passion just isn’t for me, since I’m passionate about so much. There is a lot out there that I want to learn, and working 40 Hour work weeks until I’m 65 simply wouldn’t allow me to do so.
Therefore, I want to grind for the next several years and save up enough money to quit working a full-time job. Then I can focus on various hobbies and spend my time learning different skills, since that’s what I love to do.
One major caveat of the FIRE Movement is that you shouldn’t do it just because you hate your job. You need to enjoy the process. I, for one, do enjoy my current full-time job, however I would prefer to work for myself instead of for a company.
These traits are certainly not unique to me. If you’re like me, then I think the FIRE Movement could be a good option for you.
2. Healthy Mind, Body, and Relationships
The FIRE Movement can help improve mental health, physical health, and your relationships with friends and family.
When you live frugal, it really puts things in perspective. You don’t value materialistic goods, and you don’t find your happiness from the things you buy.
That kind of happiness is an artificial happiness that retail companies try to sell you. Don’t fall victim to their marketing schemes.
Being frugal shows you another kind of happiness, a simpler version that comes with financial security, stronger relationships, and living in the present.
In addition, retiring early has been shown to add years to your life by eliminating stress.
Although, some may argue that early retirees may face chronic boredom, if you plan ahead and know what to expect, you’ll find that there is plenty to do in a life without work.
In addition to a healthier mind and body, retiring early will give you all the time in the world to spend time with your loved ones. You can travel to visit family whenever you want, and you can be there for your kids as they grow up.
No more “I can’t help you with your homework because I have to work.”
Your attention can now be on your loved ones, something that many other families struggle with.
3. Control Over My Future
Will I retire once I reach my FIRE goal? Maybe.
Would I like the option to retire? Hell yeah.
Just because I reach the ability to retire young doesn’t mean I’ll necessarily stop earning an income. The attractive part about FIRE to me is the amount of control it gives me over my future.
Just because I set my goals and execute to the point where I can retire doesn’t mean I would quit my job as soon as I reach that. But I have the option to do so if I wanted.
There is no greater peace-of-mind than that.
I never want to have to worry about money, food, or paying bills for my future-family’s sake. Having that kind of security would allow me to worry about what’s really important, without stress.
When I quit my primary job, there’s a very slim chance that I would stop doing things to make money. I think when people hear “early retirement”, they imagine sitting beach-side with a pina colada in a halved coconut.
When I retire, I want to focus my attention on helping others, running my own business without running the risk of losing all of my money, and leaving my mark on the world.
I want to travel, and gain priceless experiences. Experiences is what life is all about in the end.
Being financially independent just gives me the ability to do all those things while still having money to cover my living expenses.
Despite the downsides of the FIRE Movement, I believe it is something that could benefit my life immensely.
It certainly won’t be easy.
I hope that you take the time to entertain the thought of joining me on my journey. If so, read on to learn more about our strategy behind retiring early.
Most importantly, you must learn to love the process.
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